Thursday, July 15, 2010

Geo-location marketing: Strengthen community at neighborhood-level?

Chris Wood's recent article fits with my idea of a location-based Neighborhood Watch platform which I playfully named after Harry Potter's Marauders Map. The audience is multi-family real estate operators and developers.  I can imagine how geo-location marketing could empower real-time connectedness among neighbors and facilitate community resilience (by accident or by design, depending on how the real estate entrepreneurs want to be involved):

We’re not talking about zip code-based direct mail. Geo-location awareness—the science of marketing to consumers by matching up smart phone geographical location with user-identified browsing and purchasing preferences—opens up a virtual door to real-time customer interaction based on a locality.
...While consumers have been fairly open to sharing their geo-location via cell phone, privacy and safety concerns are beginning to push a trend towards more ambiguity in user-allowed geo-locating. And phone owners seem more comfortable reporting their presence in certain neighborhoods. Location vagueness isn’t weakening outreach to those users, however. “Neighborhood boundaries allow you to start drawing much more powerful demographic-type information that you can leverage against retail [and consumer marketing],” Clement says. “If I’m an apartment owner and I want to start driving push ads and I’m in Soho, I’m probably going to get a lot better response from people who are in Soho than people who might be in an adjacent neighborhood even if they are closer by the straight line distance.” 
...“I think local geo-marketing is a really good community relationship building tool, but as an apartment owner I’d be wary of how you deliver your message,” says Elysa Rice, emerging media consultant at Dallas-based multifamily marketing firm Ellipse. “Residents don’t want to feel like they are being constantly advertised to when they really only make a moving decision once a year...[read more]

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